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to commute, or not to commute - that is the question?

16 June 2011

During a training contract, the chances are you are going to have to make this decision: do I relocate or commute? As a trainee at Browne Jacobson, whose offices are in Nottingham, Birmingham and London, you may have the opportunity to work in an office away from the area you call ‘home.’

Having made the decision to relocate to Nottingham for the first year of my training contract, I thought it would be useful to pass on some top tips to first years who also choose to relocate.

1 Be patient. You are unlikely to fall in love with the first place you see, look around. Visit all of the locations you have considered to get a feel for the place. Also, bear in mind that estate agents can take a LONG TIME to process the necessary paper work.

2 Budget. Workout what you have to spend and plan accordingly. Don’t forget to ask about service charges and council tax bands. (Yes, your student days are behind you and you have to start paying council tax!)
If you lived with others at University but plan to live by yourself, remember there will be no more splitting of the bills and there can be quite a few utility bills coming your way. It is always worth over estimating your outgoings; this creates a handy contingency pot just in case you have to make an unforeseen outlay.

3 Car Parking. In City Centres, this comes at a premium so if you need your car, be prepared to pay for it.

4 Inventories. On the day you move in thoroughly inspect the property; make sure that all of the faults are recorded as you do not want to be blamed for something at the end of your tenancy which was not your fault. Take photographs where necessary and have them signed by the landlord or agent when the inventory is handed in.

5 Contents Insurance. Get some. Remember your landlord will only insure the building, not your belongings.

6 Get out there! If you are moving to a new city, it’s a good idea to get involved with the trainee socials or to join a club or gym. That way you get to know the area much faster and also have the opportunity to meet people outside of work.